Do you ever feel like you operate in a certain lane very easily and frequently, until you get around certain people or personality types? Say for instance you frequent the "funny and charismatic" lane on the regular; yet intimidation, nerves, awkwardness, and past experience, comes in to warp your vantage point, blind you and suddenly you are bumped off your lane and can't find your way back quickly enough. I believe as Christ followers, and sons and daughters of Almighty God, we operate and run on a "rooted and grounded in HIS love" highway that has permanent signposts on it of AUTHORITY, POWER, PURPOSE, VICTORY, WORTH, GRACE, TRUTH and more. The more we "keep our mind stayed upon Him," Isaiah 26:3 style, the more "perfect peace" we will be living in and from. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."
I started wondering why it is that when I get around someone I admire, someone in authority whom I respect, a group of people I don't know well, or just someone I desire to connect with, that I am on some foreign lane, or highway even, that is not the "me being my fullest self in Christ" lane. It often ends up somewhere around this radio station: "me moonlighting as some kind of awkward, timid, diluted, forced version of myself that lands nowhere near the real me fully expressed." In this foreign lane I tend to not speak up, or I hide, or I try to and then it comes out all wrong, or not loud enough for anyone to hear or just easy enough to be ignored. The enemy has played on this many times, but no more, as I shed His glorious light upon it and let Him lovingly lead me. The flip-side of the awkward, is that I can be with a dear friend, family member, or sometimes even a complete stranger, and be in my lane on cruise control. This is where I am wonderfully free to be the me He created me to be. Which in return helps others feel free to be themselves even more. Hmm, so I ponder why can't I easily find my way back to that designated, etched out power lane with God whenever I want and need to? Especially in sed situations.
There is something about coming from a place of knowing I am truly and deeply loved that wipes out intimidation, and breeds an environment of security, trust and safety where you blossom and grow in your own skin. Sometimes I just know that environment exists within, and with, the person or group I am interacting with. There is an established and trusted history to operate and move fluidly upon. Or there are certain personality types that are so secure in who they are and which lane they are on in Him, that I feel more secure, making it easier for that expression to come out. I want to be one of those people to others and for others. I admire so much when I see a friend of mine being fully herself/himself in a group setting and watching how that blesses others with God's presence and the gifts He carries in them. I am getting to see the amazing person that I know and love in private, arise and shine forth in every environment publicly. It is especially exciting to celebrate a friend who has come out from under a cloak and yoke of hiding, who is now foraging THAT lane, with God, in open fields of grace. I will just watch and observe and thank God for how my friend is blossoming and shining into their new normal, and think to myself, "Yeah! That's my [girl]! WhoooO! Everyone is getting to see how wonderful and multi-faceted [she] truly is." How blessed I feel to be behind the scenes in someones life and then witness both their public and private victories. How much more does God feel this way toward us beloved?? More than we know.
This identity crisis, so to speak, is broken when a heart is bowed and postured before His throne, in His presence and love, at all times. Knowing you belong. Knowing you have been adopted into a family. KNOWING YOU ARE LOVED perfectly by GOD.
Here is the thing, "IN HIM we move, live and have our being."- Acts 17:28. Everything is and will ever be an overflow of His extravagant love for us, in us and through us. That's the firm foundation our lives can live from, He is. Christ the cornerstone, our Rock and solid ground. But if I am still unsure of the goodness of His love, unsure if I can trust Him, unsure of His love for me and His goodness overall, then I must start there and yet always stay there. "If you don't know His love you'll work to earn it, but if you know His love you'll live to display it. If you know His love you'll live and walk in His fullness. To know the love of God is to be filled to the fullness of God that is in Christ Jesus."- Todd White.
My roomie Laura and I were having an incredible conversation this morning about all of this, and God just showed up. I mean He is always, Emmanuel, God with us. But He is just starting to speak even more loudly and clearly to us, or maybe just tuning our ears to hear. All that to say, I couldn't help but grab my pen and journal to write notes on what He was speaking over us, hence the birth of this blog post. There is so much He is unlocking that I've never ever seen before. At retreat this last week, He literally transplanted my eyes for HIS very own eyes to see. I am seeing things like new, like Him. So beautiful! SO thankful! So as we were discussing this deeply, my incredible Laura shared these song lyrics with me (among so many other things she shared and showed me). Listen and read the lyrics below and chew on them for a bit. *Imagine Daddy GOD singing this to you, and over you, beloved. Just let HIM love YOU! SOAK.*
WOW. So when I am feeling like I can't find my way back to my lane, I am going to let Him love me. Let Him remind me who I am. Until that lane becomes the only lane on which I travel for the rest of my days. Abiding. Remaining. In my lane always, in His love. Forever (literally). How lucky that we get to stay there, in that place with Him, living out of that, with Him, into eternity. So I am growing in His love, and the revelation of His love for me is being magnified. It will become my new autopilot to always travel and remain in this lane with Him, not in some rote way, but in a 'new creation normal' way. Heart steadfast, mind stayed and fixed upon Him. (I imagine it like those little trains on the tracks that go round and round and never change lanes). Stay on your lane with God, follow as He leads and know He wants you there with Him, always. He loves YOUR presence.
You are a treasure not to be hidden but to be known and seen, so Your Father can shine through you and be on display for all the world to see and know HIS love for them. Don't beat yourself up if you can't "get there" or stay in and on your lane yet / in certain situations. There is a glorious unfolding happening as you fold into His perfect love; He is disclosing His masterpiece to the world. HE is doing it for you, as you "let Him love you, He will take you there." No one can reduce or discredit your voice. You are not too broken to be heard or to carry greatness. The Truth is YOU CARRY GREATNESS. Oh YES beloved, GREATER IS HE that is IN YOU, than he that is in the world. You see we are just jars of clay, to show that this ALL SURPASSING POWER within us is from GOD not from us. Just keep abiding and folding into His love.